Stars win fifth straight

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One game after having a poor showing, Mike Modano bounced back with a hat-trick as the Dallas Stars beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 for their fifth straight victory.

Modano was criticized by his coach, Ken Hitchcock, after game Wednesday night against Florida and Modano admitted he had little energy on that night.

"You know when you've played bad," said Modano. "Our line had to bounce back. But we're not machines. We're human and it can catch up to you. Our line had an awful game, but that's why you have 22 players and not just three. It was our turn tonight."

Hitchcock said after Friday night's game that he should have detected that Modano and linemates Brett Hull and Jere Lehtinen were out of gas on Wednesday.

"When you're playing over 20 minutes a game like they are, you forget that people run out of energy," Hitchcock said. "By taking yesterday off, we were a lot stronger tonight."

All was different on Friday. Modano had his hat-trick, Brett Hull scored his 24th goal and Lehtinen had two assists.

"It's nice when you play 48 hours later," Modano said. "It gives you a chance to redeem yourself."

The Stars 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and improved their record to 35-10-8, the best in the league. Chicago is 2-9 in its last 11.

"We played a team that competes on every shift," Chicago coach Dirk Graham said. "Mike Modano has learned through the years that to play on a successful team, you need to be strong defensively."

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